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According to my GP I have tennis elbow! Despite the fact that I have not played tennis for at least 40 years and as far as I am aware have done nothing to cause this I currently have a left arm that is prone to pain - apparently some sort of repetetive strain caused inflamation of the elbow muscle. The usual ibuprofen medications work to a certain extent as does a rather neat sports band round the elbow. A wise friend and former teacher suggested un relaxed wrists while practicing etc. could be the cause but I do not think that this is the case. I can mostly play without too much pain but my length of playing time before things get 'gummed up' is not that long. I have tried acupunture but this seems not to have had great deal of effect. My GP says it could take a while to go and can not suggest much more than I have tried already.

 

Does anyone here have similar experiences or can anyone offer advice please?

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I have had it a couple of times in my left arm. In my case it was caused by slouching lazily around the keyboard of a desktop computer - never a good idea! In my case it was only mildly troublesome and went away of its own accord after a while. I do think that good posture, relaxation and (if it really hurts) anti-inflammatories are about as much as you can do. The problem with anti-inflammatories is that they may fool you into thinking it is safe to use your arm as before when what it really needs is rest. I prescribe the Thalben-Ball pedal variations!

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There are lots of books currently available about this kind of thing. A very recent one is "The biology of musical performance and perfromance-related injury" by Alan H D Watson, whom I have heard lecture on the subject in London. A shorter book is "The musician, a high-level athlete" by Coralie Cousin, there's "Indirect Procedures" by Pedro de Alcantara and, of course, the trusty old "Healthy Practice for Musicians". Good posture and consciously relaxing muscles that don't NEED to be tensed are of paramount importance. You cannot play legato on the organ when you have unnecessary tension in the limbs. I'm fortunate in having an extremely good physio who is an organist herself and understands our needs so well. A few months ago I injured my hamstring and ended up with bursitis around the ischial bone (very painful). It amused my friends as I haven't played football for 50 years and even then very half-heartedly. I don't know AJJ's age but I'm 65 and at my age any problems like this take far longer to clear up than tey would have done a few years ago. I'm sure I made my hamstring injury worse by delaying going to see my physio and then returning to playing long before I should have done.

 

I believe that on the past cortizone injections were used for tennis elbow but that they are very painful.

 

Malcolm

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Hi

 

I had tennis elbow a good few years ago. A Cortisone injection sorted it out - fortunately permanantly, as the injection itself is quite painful. (I currently have to have them every 6 months to try and reduce the problems of arthritis in my big toe - and that's even worse than the injection in the elbow!).

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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I too had tennis elbow some years ago. In my case this was caused by my carrying a heavy bag with laptop computer, books and various other paraphernalia around. The Wikipedia entry for tennis elbow shows how lifting a bag with the palm facing downwards can cause this. Think about how you lift your music bag or briefcase and how heavy it is.

 

My GP said this is quite common and on his advice I bought a tennis elbow support from a good sports shop - it should have a strap around the wrist and a second one closer to the elbow with a rod linking the pair to reduce twisting of the forearm. It took a couple of months to clear up but I've not had any trouble since.

 

Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

D

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... a tennis elbow support from a good sports shop - it should have a strap around the wrist and a second one closer to the elbow with a rod linking the pair to reduce twisting of the forearm.

 

I'm glad you mentioned that. I have had what I assume to be tennis elbow for a couple of weeks now. It began when I was doing some screwing (no, please don't condemn me yet. I'm serious).

 

I usually use a power drill/screwdriver but, stupidly, couldn't be bothered to get it out on this occasion. Obviously, my forearm isn't used to such movements - twisting of the forearm, as you have mentioned.

 

I haven't bothered the quack about this as it's not all that bad. I'm trying to avoid undue movement of the arm, but I understand tennis elbow (if that's what it is) can persist for many weeks.

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